Thursday, May 29, 2014

Finding Current Information on Wildfires

Fire season is once again upon us, and living in the forests of Northern Arizona, we hold our collective breath every year while raking pine needles and creating defensible areas around our homes.

Much of the stewardship work that Wilderness Volunteers do each year is in areas that can be affected by wildfire. It's important for our project leaders and participants to have a way to find out if their trips will be affected by wildfire, and to monitor the status of the fire.

InciWeb is an interagency all-risk incident web information management system provided by the US Forest Service. It was developed for wildland fire emergencies, and its mission is to provide the public with a source of incident related information. It includes information on air quality, news releases, maps of affected areas, photographs, evacuations, road closures and current situation info about each wildfire.

We've definitely been using InciWeb here with the large Slide fire burning in Oak Creek Canyon between Flagstaff and Sedona. I'll also use this great tool when preparing for the projects I'm doing this summer.

Another resource is the National Interagency Fire Center and many states also have informational sites for current incidents like the Arizona Interagency Wildfire News site.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Newest National Monument - Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks

Organ Mountains as seen from the east.

Nearly 500,000 acres of beautiful New Mexico wild land are now protected with the declaration of the new Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument. The work in managing the monument only begins once the land is designated. The agency will likely need volunteers in managing the area - let us know in the comments section if you'd like to go on a service project there next year!

If you want to be a part of setting the direction for a recently declared New Mexico National Monument, you don't have to wait for things to get rolling in the Organ Mountains. You can join WV for the service project at the Rio Grande del Norte NM this summer! Designated in March of last year, the RGDN is more than 240,000 acres in Taos County. Our project will be on the north side of Ute Mountain, helping to site and plan a single well-managed trail. Come join us and make an impact - more info on our website.

WV's 2014 RGDN project will be on Ute Mountain, seen behind the Rio Grande gorge in the photo above.

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Reduce Condensation in Your Tent

Tips for reducing condensation in your tent from Mountain Safety Research: